The purpose this get-together is to have a conversation where each person is able to participate in a safe and non-judgmental space. Everyone is allowed to participate. This Agreement is the foundation for an Evening Conversation and allowing the conversation to occur and. We refer to them because they are a part of every step of the process: from the original intention of having a conversation, inviting others to participate, the language used during the conversation, and the environment the conversation occurs within.
Be curious and listen to understand
Conversation is just as much about listening as it is about talking. This allows you to get an alternative view on a topic of conversation. You might enjoy exploring how others’ experiences have shaped their values and perspectives.
Show respect and suspend judgment
People tend to judge one another. Setting judgment aside opens you up to learning from others and allows them feel respected and appreciated. Listen without interruption or crosstalk.
Note any common ground as well as any differences
Look for areas of agreement or shared values that may arise and take an interest in the differing beliefs and opinions of others.
Be authentic and welcome that from others
Share what’s important to you. Speak from your experience. Be considerate of others who are doing the same.
Be purposeful and to the point
The evening conversation has a limited duration and to give each other an opportunity to speak, do your best to keep your comments concise and relevant to the question. Be conscious of sharing airtime with other participants.
Own and guide the conversation
A conversation is only as good as we allows it to be. We all have a responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation as a whole. Be proactive in getting yourself and others back on track as required. For example, we can use a signal like the “time out” sign if you feel the agreements are not being honored.